A conversation with Stacy Zehnder, sales manager, Harrison County Convention and Visitors Bureau
Location and size:
Harrison County is located in south central Indiana on the Ohio River, 25 minutes from Louisville, Kentucky. Harrison County has a population of more than 38,000.
What is distinctive about your area?
Harrison County’s rich history, scenic beauty, Hoosier hospitality and home of one of the largest riverboat casinos make this a desirable bank group destination.
Corydon was the birthplace of Indiana and home of the first state capital from 1816 to 1825. Because Corydon was the state capital for nine years and the territorial capital three years prior, the history of the founding of the state and the men who founded it is directly connected with Corydon. Many historical buildings and landmarks still remain.
Harrison County was named after our ninth U.S. president, William Henry Harrison, who before his presidency was governor of the Indiana Territory. Governor Harrison was inspired to name his town after his favorite song, “The Pastoral Elegy,” which tells the story of a shepherd boy named Corydon.
Corydon is also the site of the only Civil War battle fought on Indiana soil. John Hunt Morgan and his 2,400 Confederate soldiers faced the Harrison County Homeguard in a skirmish on July 9, 1863, as they attempted to delay Morgan’s Raid in Harrison County. The Battle of Corydon Memorial Park is the original site of this famous battle.
What are the main group attractions in your area?
Historic Sites: Don’t miss the First State Capitol, Governor Hendricks Headquarters and other historic landmarks. We offer a step-on-guide tour that showcases the Constitution Elm Tree, where delegates gathered underneath to draft the first state constitution; the Leora Brown School, the oldest former school for African Americans still standing in Indiana; and Indiana’s only Civil War battle site.
Award-Winning Wineries: Corydon and Harrison County are home to four wineries: Best Vineyards, Indian Creek Winery, Scout Mountain Winery and Turtle Run Winery. Bank travelers can take a tour of each winery and experience something a little different at each location. Production tours, vineyard tours and cooking with wine and herbs classes are offered. Harrison County is also part of the Indiana Uplands Wine Trail, which consists of nine southern Indiana wineries.
Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino: Aboard the riverboat casino, bank groups discover four floors of casino excitement with 2,500 slot machines, 149 gaming tables, five dining establishments, quality entertainment and a 503-room resort hotel. Located near the property is the 18-hole Chariot Run Golf Course.
Natural Beauty: Bank groups thoroughly enjoy views from southern Indiana’s gently rolling hills along the Ohio River Scenic Byway. Designated a National Scenic Byway in 1996, the byway is the link that ties together the history of the area. Hugging the river itself, the route twists and turns its way past cypress swamps, scenic overlooks, archaeological sites, stately mansions, riverboat casinos and caverns.
Downtown Historic Shopping District: Shop for antiques, crafts and collectibles; take a walking tour; or visit one of the old-fashioned soda fountains in downtown Corydon’s shopping district. Contact us before your visit and group members will receive group preferred-customer discount cards, accepted at more than 20 downtown merchants.
Zimmerman Art Glass Factory: This historical landmark in Corydon offers a free demonstration of off-hand glassmaking, which features more than 110 different works of art. The most popular items are paperweights, vases, bowls, ornaments and personalized items. Zimmerman Art Glass Factory has been a locally owned family business for more than four generations.
What are the major annual events in your area?
- Southern Indiana Uncorked Wine and Micro Brew Festival Held the last Saturday in May, this bubbly event features Indiana wineries, breweries and entertainment.
- Bluegrass on the Square Well-known local, regional and national bluegrass bands and artists perform on the town square every fourth Saturday in June, July and August.
- Battle of Corydon Reenactment This two-day event relives the famous battle of Morgan’s Raid into Harrison County and is held the last weekend in June.
- Lanesville Heritage Weekend This town of 700 people celebrates the history and heritage of small towns the second weekend in September.
- Southern Indiana Fiber Arts Festival Anything your favorite knitters and crochet fans could ever dream of is available at this Corydon festival on the third Saturday in October.
- Light Up Corydon Thousands of lights, a carriage ride and Christmas carolers are the stars at this event, held the first Saturday after Thanksgiving.
What’s new in your area?
Harrison County is quickly becoming a popular destination for wine lovers. Scout Mountain Winery opened its doors to the public in the spring of 2009. Vineyard and production tours, tastings and herb and wine cooking classes can be arranged. Call our office to design a customized wine tour in our area.
Where are some great places to get a taste of your area?
Magdalena’s Restaurant and Cafe on the Square, located on Historic Corydon Square, offers an array of appetizers, dinners, desserts, ice cream and gourmet coffees.
Another favorite landmark is the Overlook Restaurant, located on the Ohio River in nearby Leavenworth. Groups enjoy home cooking at its best while enjoying a spectacular view overlooking the river.
Blue River Cafe is yet another fun experience, offering weekend entertainment and group dining on the Blue River in nearby Milltown.
Emery’s Ice Cream Parlor is a popular spot for an afternoon ice cream treat; there, bank members can not only satisfy their sweet tooth but also enjoy the nostalgia.
Is there an annual event or time of year that a bank group should consider in planning a trip to your area?
Any time of year is a great time to visit, but we are really known for spectacular autumn colors. Bank groups thoroughly enjoy views of the fall foliage from southern Indiana’s gently rolling hills along the Ohio River Scenic Byway.
When you visit, don’t miss the picturesque vista from above of our famous horseshoe bend in the Ohio River at the Overlook Restaurant.
Are there any special programs and services for groups in your area?
We will customize your itinerary around all of your needs. Our bureau staff will assist with making reservations and provide contact information to make reservations.
Our sales manager’s favorite job is to distribute goody bags, so be sure to let us know of your arrival.
Upon your arrival to Historic Corydon Harrison County, you’ll receive a personal greeting.
We offer fam tours and site inspections throughout the year.
We’ll send all the necessary sales tools for planning a trip, including brochures, maps, a calendar of events and themed itineraries.
Step-on guides can be arranged for guided tours.
What is your Web site address, and what on the site would be particularly helpful to a bank travel planner?
The Travel Professional section of our Web site, www.thisisindiana.org, is a useful tool for travel planners, as suggested itineraries and packages are described in detail. The Web site also provides general information about attractions, events and lodging possibilities.